Making band saw puzzle box--which blade is best?

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Forum topic by grace123 posted 11-18-2010 06:38 PM 4876 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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234 posts in 2756 days

11-18-2010 06:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw help

First I want to thank all the great LJs who have answered my questions previously. This is a great site. I greatly appreciate the tips I have received. Without exception they have worked for me every time.

I want to make a band saw puzzle box for a Christmas present. This involves cutting a “key” into a 4×4 x 6 inch wood block. I am using walnut. On my trial runs with scrap wood my results are that the blade seems to wander. I am sure this is operator error.

My questions are: Should I guide the wood slower? I am quite adept at cutting curves with a bandsaw on thinner wood, say up to 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Also, what blade would be the best for this project?

Thanks again for your help in the past and in advance for good advice.

4 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10476 posts in 3422 days

#1 posted 11-18-2010 07:27 PM

A 3/16”, 6.5 deg. hook angle, raker tooth blade would do the trick…..unless you need a sharper radius.Then you’d have to go to a 1/8” blade, which wouldn’t be advisable for anything thicker than 2”.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3043 days

#2 posted 11-19-2010 06:52 AM

What size bandsaw have you got?
Also if your blade wanders, make sure you have the correct amount of tension, It really shouldn’t wander.
When doing your box, take it slow and easy.

-- Theresa,

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3044 days

#3 posted 11-19-2010 10:55 PM


Gene is about right on blade size and type. Furthermore, I suggest you look up this article; You may be required to have a online membership to view it, but they give you a 2 week trial free. If that doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll pm a copy. He’s the man on bandsaws.

At any rate, pay close attention to blade tracking, and the upper AND lower guides. What I’ve found to work well is to use shop made guide blocks (unless you have rollers) of maple and just sandwich the entire blade (essential with narrow blades) instead of fiddling to get the blocks just behind the gullet. This way it can’t twist. Works fine and does no harm.



-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View grace123's profile


234 posts in 2756 days

#4 posted 11-20-2010 09:53 AM

Steve in KY—I used your tip about the guide blocks.

Gene—Thanks for the advice about the proper type of blade. I went to my favorite hardware store. bought the blade you suggested.

TJ65—I also realized your advice to go slow was really good advice.

I left my shop this evening feeling very pleased about the results with my bandsaw. Thank you very much for your tips. I made a very passable band saw puzzle box from a practice block. Then I used a nicer piece of wood and produced a very nice puzzle box. I plan to make a few of these for little filler Christmas presents for the men in my family.

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